Sergiño Dest’s ‘baby behavior’ red card raises questions about his USMNT future

Sergiño Dest pouted his way into an inexplicably stupid red card Monday that marred what should have been a simple U.S. men’s national team win in Trinidad.

With the USMNT leading 1-0, out of nowhere, Dest punted the ball into the stands, seemingly in response to an assistant referee’s out-of-bounds call. That alone earned him a foolish yellow card.

But Dest didn’t stop there. He talked aggressively at the ref, continuing to protest the call. As the ref, Walter López, brandished the first yellow, Dest blew him a sarcastic kiss. That earned him a second yellow and, by extension, a red.

His teammates, tellingly, hardly protested the cards. They instead went after Dest. Gio Reyna tried to calm him. Yunus Musah tried to restrain him. After the red, captain Tim Ream grabbed him and yelled at him. Goalkeeper Matt Turner screamed at Dest too, and physically pushed him off the field.

It’s unclear if he interacted with head coach Gregg Berhalter as he stalked to the locker room. But questions immediately arose about how Berhalter might disciplined him. Former USMNT players led the public discourse. “It’s crazy, it’s unacceptable,” DaMarcus Beasley said on TNT’s halftime show.

Beasley continued: “What he did just now to put his team under that kind of pressure going into the second half, going into a real game that matters. And now he misses the semifinal. I would love to know what made him that upset for him to kick a ball out of the stadium and then start yelling at his teammates as you’re going off the field.

“If this was Gregg Berhalter when he was a player and he was going to meet Sergiño Dest in the locker room, all hell would break loose,” Beasley later added. “Same thing with Clint Dempsey. Same thing with Carlos Bocanegra. The captains of the national team. They are not going to let this slide.

“I understand kicking the ball out of the stadium, you’re upset, but then you keep going and you blow kisses at the referee — for what? Because you didn’t get [a call]. That’s baby behavior. I don’t understand that and I’m still upset about that.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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